A Propagandist for Oppression

The sinister nonsense of Oliver Stone's South of the Border

The shameless mendacity and cynicism of a “documentary” that unequivocally praises Hugo Chávez’ revolution while refusing to show even the slightest compassion for, or even awareness of, his victims—some of whom are former Chavistas—represents a new low in "left-wing" polemic. Oliver Stone’s new film South of the Border isn't a documentary in any honest sense of the word; it documents little save the uncurious director’s bloated sense of self-satisfaction. Even those who, like Stone, believe Chávez’s revolución Bolivariana represents the best chance Venezuela’s poor have to satiate their material needs, will, if they are honest with themselves, recognize the film as the puerile exercise in authoritarian hagiography that it is. Stone, who narrates the story, mentions the concept of human rights only once and only to disparage it as imperialist boilerplate, similar to Bush’s talk of “freedom” (i.e., a concern for human rights is neocon propaganda, so don’t even think about bringing it up in a discussion about Chávez). Not a single Venezuelan opposition figure or political prisoner is depicted or even named.

The film opens with an extended clip from FOX & Friends, the hosts of which are depicted chatting frivolously about Chávez. Watching them babble on, one is intended to realize (with the appropriate smirk of progressive condescension) that these bimbos epitomize, if not exactly represent, the probity and insight of the corporate American media establishment in toto. Gretchen Carlson, one of the show’s hosts, calls Chávez a dictator in the shrill and insouciant tone one imagines she would use to describe her favorite cocktail.

We understand immediately. These people are stupid and ignorant. Because they are stupid and ignorant and because they (and people like them) tell Americans what to think about Chávez, our opinions about Chávez are also stupid and ignorant. This is in the interests of the corporate media establishment, which would like us to remain stupid and ignorant, especially about economic injustice in Latin America, so that the privileged may stay privileged and the impoverished masses may remain impoverished masses.

By means of the IMF (the film’s most visible villain), the US is able to surreptitiously exert the might of predatory capitalism against the noble inhabitants of Latin America, robbing them of the fruits of their labor while keeping the American people ignorant of this theft by means of—again—the sinister corporate media establishment, which depicts those Latin American leaders who oppose American hegemony as crazy dictators. But in fact, it's these slandered and vilified leaders who are the true heroes of the story. Wake up America!

Against the revolution, Stone explains, stands a familiar cast: the light-skinned, English-speaking, unpatriotic Venezuelans who, unwittingly or not, would rather live under the neo-colonial imposition of IMF austerity measures. Leading and inciting this obduracy against Chávez in Venezuela are rapacious business interests and corporate media owners. This is, for the purposes of Stone’s film, everything you need to know about the Venezuelan opposition.

In depicting Chávez as the innocent victim of American and domestic treachery, Stone exploits the events of April 11, 2002, during which Chávez was temporarily deposed. Stone presents the April coup as the epitome of opposition to Chávez: a reactionary Venezuelan bourgeoisie attempts to thwart the people’s will and destroy their revolution. The moral of the story, as presented by Stone, is that the Venezuelan people, having been made aware of their historical responsibility to Bolivarian socialism, were ultimately able to defeat the wealthy elite and rescue their revolution along with their comandante. To deliver this simple vision, however, Stone has to omit a few essential facts that even Chavistas would feel compelled to address in any discussion of the coup.

For instance, Stone refuses to tell us that it was Chávez’ own military high command that ousted him after they became convinced that Chavista gunmen, acting under the government’s direction and endorsement, opened fire on opposition marchers, resulting in the deaths of several innocents (and this is only the most prominent example of why the military high command rebelled against Chávez). The generals replaced Chávez with Pedro Carmona, the head of Venezuela’s largest business federation, hoping that the latter would form a conciliatory and transitional government. But the generals soon ousted Carmona after they were convinced that his presidential decrees would turn Venezuela into a dictatorship. Not wanting to take power themselves, the generals followed constitutional procedure by bestowing Diosdado Cabello—the Chavista vice-president who resurfaced when word spread that Carmona’s government lacked the backing of the military high command­­—with the presidency of the republic.

Cabello dutifully and predictably returned the presidency to Chávez upon the latter’s return from captivity, on April 13. The only attempt at an investigation of these events—a truth commission set up by the National Assembly following the tragedy—was decommissioned by the government after members of the military provided a version of events that contradicted Chávez’s (and now Stone’s) self-glorifying narrative.

Chávez’ relationship with the military leads us to what is Stone’s most glaring omission concerning the April coup. In depicting democratic revolutionaries battling against a greedy and heartless elite, Stone leaves out someone who should be one of the drama’s central heroes: the Chavista who rescued both Chávez and the Bolivarian Revolution from ruin, General Raul Isaías Baduel. It was Baduel who orchestrated the mission to rescue Chávez on April 13 and was instrumental in deposing Carmona. Without Baduel, and the other military officers and generals who followed his lead, the Bolivarian Revolution would have likely suffered a conclusive defeat on April 11. Chávez subsequently made Baduel his secretary of defense, evidently to reward his loyal efforts during such a decisive moment. Why, I invite you to wonder, does Stone excise Baduel from the story? To answer this one merely needs to look at the reason why Chávez no longer includes Baduel in his revolutionary narrative—at least not as a hero.

A few months after resigning as defense minister in 2007, Baduel openly broke with Chávez and was subsequently denounced as a traitor and enemy of the revolution by his former boss. Baduel publicly came out against Chávez’s constitutional reform project and exhorted Venezuelans to vote against it. Baduel believed Chávez’s constitutional reform would, if passed, give Chávez nearly unlimited executive power and betray the very principles of the revolution. In April 2009, Baduel was arrested and charged with embezzlement. In May, Baduel was convicted and sentenced to serve seven years and 11 months in prison. He is what fair-minded observers would call a political prisoner (though certainly not the only victim of political persecution: In addition to Baduel, we can name the cases of Usón, Alvarez Paz, Afiuni, Rosales, and López).

The second half of the film focuses on the rest of Latin America’s Bolivarian axis. Stone holds a series of bland conversations with Evo Morales, Cristina and Nestor Kirchner, Luiz Inácio Lula, Fernando Lugo, Rafael Correa, and Raul Castro. These “interviews” are the height of frivolity masquerading as critical introspection, and we learn nothing concrete about any political leader’s set of specific policies. Stone chews Coca leaves and kicks a soccer ball with Morales. He playfully asks Cristina Kirchner how many shoes she has. Nestor Kirchner tells Stone that Bush once told him war was the best form of economic stimulus. Stone tells Lugo that he is a good and gentle man. Chávez tells Stone that Lula is his brother as both heads of state embrace. The film is replete with such vacuous attempts at humanization.

I was particularly amazed at the casual way in which Stone included Raul Castro in this group of democratically elected leaders, as if no further clarification or justification were required. South of the Border portrays Castro as a quaint and gentle old man who regales both the director and Correa with stories of the common heritage of social justice in the Americas, waxing reverently about Bolívar, Chávez, and others. Astonishingly, Stone does not bring up the fact—nor, predictably, does the democratically elected Correa seem to mind—that Raul Castro is not a democrat but an unelected dictator enthroned by his ailing older brother. Or, to be more succinct, the closest thing to a right-wing, monarchical transition of power in Latin America has taken place in “revolutionary” Cuba; and we, who must be expected by Stone to possess the rational faculties of drooling baboons, are meant to accept this monumental political contradiction as belonging to Latin America’s “progressive” inheritance.

Stone’s unproblematic inclusion of Castro is a scandalous insult to common sense and simple consistency, given the film’s supposed focus on the importance of democratic legitimacy and popular support for the Bolivarian axis of Latin American leaders. The truth is that there is only one military dictatorship left in the Western Hemisphere—the Cuban government. And there is only one political bloc that gives that military dictatorship constant and unequivocal praise—Stone’s beloved Bolivarian axis.

By portraying Chávez as a benevolent and misunderstood hero, Stone plays the role of useful idiot, providing the Bolivarian Revolution with the cultural legitimacy it needs to capture the attention of Western “progressives.” Hidden beneath this self-righteous veneer of solidarity with the Venezuelan poor, however, South of the Border is easily recognizable as the record of a director’s collaboration with tyranny. By refusing to mention any of Chávez’ victims, Stone has produced a version of Venezuelan history that tacitly justifies the oppression of dissidents.

In Venezuela, where such dissidents have no choice but to exist, Stone’s film has failed miserably. Venezuelans, we should always remember, are living under a government that forces all domestic television and radio stations to broadcast Chávez’ incessant and interminable public speeches and propaganda. Stone cannot possibly expect Venezuelans to pay for what they are already obliged to suffer.

Antonio Rumbos, a native of Venezuela, is a writer living in Washington, DC. 

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  • Almanian||

    Oliver Stone’s new film South of the Border isn't a documentary in any honest sense of the word

    Oh, so THIS is today's "Cop Shoots Dog" post. Got it!

  • -||

    a documentary in any honest sense of the word

    Documentaries are never honest and unbiased. They can't be, by virtue of their human creators. Discuss.

  • A is Awesome||

    It depends to what extent you define a "documentary". For instance, in my College Composition class a long time ago, the professor defined instructional videos (ex: setting up a ladder) as a documentary.

  • ||

    As A is A above says, documentaries about uncontroversial topics, or at least topics that the filmmaker has no preexisting opinions about, can be honest and unbiased. Even controversial topics can be honestly dealt with if the filmmaker seeks out opposing viewpoints.

  • Paul||

    I disagree... to a degree. Even documentaries where the filmmaker has an opinion can be well-presented and honest. There's nothing requiring the filmmaker to tell lies or change the meaning through manipulation of the medium. I can even forgive filmmakers for leaving out certain facts or opposing viewpoints. But when you change the meaning of facts you do present, or literally fabricate facts out of whole cloth, you've crossed the line.

  • Paul||

    So I know, thanks, before you tell me, that a documentary must have a "POV" or point of view and that it must also impose a narrative line. But if you leave out absolutely everything that might give your "narrative" a problem and throw in any old rubbish that might support it, and you don't even care that one bit of that rubbish flatly contradicts the next bit, and you give no chance to those who might differ, then you have betrayed your craft. If you flatter and fawn upon your potential audience, I might add, you are patronizing them and insulting them. By the same token, if I write an article and I quote somebody and for space reasons put in an ellipsis like this (…), I swear on my children that I am not leaving out anything that, if quoted in full, would alter the original meaning or its significance. Those who violate this pact with readers or viewers are to be despised.

    --Christopher Hitchens

  • Alex||

    For the record: Oliver Stone said he didn't include opposing viewpoints because "You can get them all the time in mainstream media."

  • EMp||

    Hitchens is brilliant, eh?

  • ||

    What an asinine and sophomoric comment. OMG! Like, how do we know what is even real? Whoa! Pass me the bong, dude...

    There are documentaries that do a very good job of presenting unvarnished truth, despite the inevitable limitations of having the project run by human beings. Then there are others that disgrace the name, that are vile trash that serve to further the purposes of evil for cold cash or ego inflation among self-haters. The Walter Durantys of the world who speak of good ol' Uncle Joe and the warm smile he has as he kisses orphans.

    Apparently Stone falls into the latter camp. He's an evil man, the 21st century's Leni Riefenstahl.

  • ||

    I think David Suzuki is a raving enviro lunatic. But he produces informative, accurate documentary television. His environmentalist bias is always present but I never feel like he is trying to force facts into his particular viewpoint. Maybe Suzuki is a skillful propagandist. But I always enjoy the Nature of Things.

  • Reason Commenter||

    Good thing Hugo Chavez isn't a US citizen and a Democrat. "Libertarians" would've elected him President to "punish the Republicans" and keep Sarah Palin out of the line of succession

  • Cthorm||

    Lonewacko, is that you?

  • jacob||

    +1

  • Paul||

    So, Obama = Hugo Chavez?

  • Jeffersonian||

  • ||

    This makes me wonder whether Sgt. Barnes in Platoon wasn't the good guy. After all, Stone fucks up reality in virtually every other film he makes.

  • ||

    Barnes was kind of awesome though... wish we had more like him here in the Aghan theater... McChrystal's "hugs not drugs" policy is SHIT and ain't cuttin' it...

  • Paul||

    Sometimes I wonder that if Hitler were still alive, Stone would be riding around with him, smiling while sitting in the back of a staff car driving around the streets of Paris, talking about all the great social programs he brought to Europe.

    Did I go too far on that one?

  • TXLimey||

    Nope - spot on. It's not that Chavez is as bad as Hitler, but that American Progressive's have long had an attraction to ostensibly lefty dictators. Chavez and Castro are what they have to fawn over now, but back in the day they were all over Mussolini, Hitler, Lenin and Stalin.

  • ||

    Didn't American progressives also fawn over Robert Mugabe? Funny, we don't hear much about him anymore...

  • Godwin||

    Yes. Yes you did.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    You Riefenstahl'ed the thread!

  • ||

    No, he probably wouldn't. He'd be riding with Stalin, and despise Hitler because he dared to attack "mother russia."

  • Eric||

    Whenever I see a glowing documentary (or NPR report or college lecture) about how awesome things are in Country X, I know that we in the U.S. will soon be seeing a wave of cab drivers, green grocers and assorted small business people arriving here late of Country X. So thanks, Stone, now I know who will be occupying the abandoned storefronts in town in a couple of years.

  • chaka||

    suh-weet! venezuelen chicks are HOT.

  • BuelahMan||

    All "sides" need their "useful idiot". Antonio Rumbos just proved his usefulness for his "side".

  • ||

    And which side are you being an idiot for today?

  • G-Love||

    The backside. If by "useful idiot" you actually mean "ass fucker".

  • BakedPenguin||

    Sounds like he managaed to make a worse film than Alexander. I didn't know that was possible.

  • ||

    Alexander the Great should be a friggin' easy guy to do a movie about. But Stone just had to screw it up.

  • BakedPenguin||

    That was my thinking. This is a historical figure who conquered the known world of his time. How do you make that tedious?

  • ||

    He was tutored by Aristotle, for Zeus' sake!

  • ||

    And his momma was a certified freak, in all the best possible ways - even Philip thought she was nuts, and he was a pretty wild fellow himself.

  • ||

    Philip was pretty danged entertaining himself and probably should get a lot more credit than he does for Alexander's later conquests. Or blame, depending on how you look at things.

  • People He Murdered||

    Blame, definitely.

  • ||

    That's generally the way that I view it, but I didn't want to confuse anyone.

  • Cabeza de Vaca||

    I remember reading a interview of Stone back when Alexander came out. Stone was talking about all the wonderful things Alexander brought with his conquests. Alexander wasn't just conquering people he was bringing civilization. Stone has a huge hard on for dictactors.

    Alexander was a mass murdering sociopath nothing more. For historians to label people like him great says a lot about humanity. It makes me wonder if a 1,000 years from now if people won't be talking about Hilter the Great & Stalin the Magnificent.

  • ||

    Wait...Alexander brought civilization to Persia? The guys who were wearing pants and calculating the orbits of the planets while Macedonians were still wiping their asses with leaves? Weird.

  • Van||

    Hugo Chavez is the next Che Guevara!

  • ||

    No way. That misshapen head won't go well on a t-shirt.

  • ||

    Too fat.

  • Rudan||

    Nah man, Che has the sexier "I've killed people with my goddamn hands" appeal. Whereas Chavez is fat, unattractive and only starting dictatorship. Wearing Che just conveys the "No I'm not cleaning my bedroom!" rebellion better.

  • MWG||

    Good luck finding a military officer willing to put a bullet in his head. They've all been exiled.

  • MWG||

    Dammit! That was a response to Van.

  • Van||

    There might someway to make a martyr out of him. If we could just get Shakira close enough to him ............?

  • Van||

    I was thinking Oliver Stone could sex him up in this movie. Then if the movie is successful, poll in focus groups to find out who is attracted to him and direct the spinoff campaign toward them.

  • ||

    Well, Andrew Jackson was a mass murderer and he is on our currency, so why not?

  • Van||

    If Andrew Jackson were alive you would have to face him down in a duel for that type of slander.

    But you are changing the subject. The question is who are Chavez' fans and how can we market to them, t-shirts, lunchboxes, video games etc. This movie could be the next "Harry Potter" in terms of residuals if Stone plays it right.

  • Paul||

    Hugo Chavez is the next Che Guevara!

    God I hope not. I hope Hugo Chavez lives to a ripe, old age so he can't blame is failures on the CIA.

  • I Heart Capitalisms||

    Fat chance. Chavez will wind up with a bullet through his scull sooner or later and progressives will spend the next 150 years blaming the CIA and IMF for destroying the country's chances of becoming a workers' paradise.

  • Jeffersonian||

    And no neck.

  • fyodor||

    The described use of Fox & Friends reminds me of Michael Moore's choice of Brittney Speers to represent the contra voice in Fahrenheit 9/11.

  • Atilla||

    Soooo, what. What a boring column about nothing.

    At least the comments are predictable and formulaic to go along with it.

    Gee Michael Moore is fat - hold the presses!

    D- on this essay.

  • Kevin||

    F- on this comment.

  • Atilla's mom||

    Atilla, you have nothing better to do than to bother people? Stop trolling, and come here and rub off that bunion on mommy's foot!

  • ||

    You'll have to wait, Mrs. A. Right now he's rubbing off to Michael Moore.

  • I Heart Capitalisms||

    I found it informative. I didn't know the particulars of the coup and hadn't yet realized that Stone had sunk from typical Hollywood leftist to full on 1930s Marxist propagandist. Does anyone still take Gramsci seriously?

    (Michael Moore is fat and so is his mom)

  • Paul||

    Oliver Stone may be the biggest blow-hard in all of Hollywood. Say what you will about BlowHard James Cameron, he can make an entertaining, escapist flick.

    Stone's career is way more miss than hit. Oh, and Stone doesn't do character documentaries of other people. He does biopics of himself standing next to other people.

    To Stone's credit, though, in his autobiopic of the Palestine/Israel conflict, he did seem a bit put off by the Hamas leadership, and you could actually see liberalism's matter/antimatter explosion when the Hamas top guy refused to shake the hand of Stone's female crewmember.

  • MWG||

    Oh I'm gonna have to rent that just for that scene alone. Priceless!

  • Jeffersonian||

    By portraying Chávez as a benevolent and misunderstood hero, Stone plays the role of useful idiot...

    He ain't playin', amigo.

  • Chip||

    Chavez is the Paris Hilton of Latin American authoritarians. He has a fortune made up of other people's money, and can never turn down saying something retarded in front of a camera.

  • Paul||

    Chavez is the Paris Hilton of Latin American authoritarians. He has a fortune made up of other people's money, and can never turn down saying something retarded in front of a camera.

    You need to be more specific, and enumerate unique faults about Chavez. You just described practically every politician in the United States Government.

  • Chip||

    Google 'Chavez Courtney Love' and you'll see what I'm getting at, Pilgrim.

  • Paul||

    I would but I'm afraid my head would assplode.

  • Van||

    Well, I will say this to Paris Hilton's credit; she is skinny, has small boobs, and an ideal waist to hip ratio.

    Now, if we could just transplant Simone de Beauvoir's brain into her, then we would have someone that would want to ..........., discus philosphy with!

  • Van||

    I would want to ..........,

  • Jeffersonian||

    Ugh...I can't even imagine the horror of Paris Hilton going on about Sartre. Can't I just fuck her?

  • Van||

    You've got a point. Maybe a little plastic surgery on the face? Or a different brain?

    I thought of women intellectuals who were also babalicious and the first thing that popped into my mind was Simone.

  • Warty||

    Sasha Grey claims to be an existentialist, for whatever that's worth.

  • Van||

    I had not heard that dude.

    Simone de Beauvoir, on the other hand, was never videotaped in any gang bang gag on the cock videos.

    But I don't want to discourage Sasha from reading books like "The Ethics of Ambiguity", because in a few short years the cute will wear off and she will have to find a new career.

  • AT||

    I think she means she does exist.

  • cynical||

    You monster.

  • ||

    She's too skinny. A woman has to convince me she can either bear and breastfeed my children or keep up with them intellectually before I fuck her.

  • Van||

    Take it from a middle aged man son, the skinny ones are the most skillful lovers.

    There are so many girls who are more beautiful than her though, and smarter, you are wise to look elsewhere.

  • ||

    Sorry can't agree with you on the skinny girls. Plumb but not obese girls are more enthusiastic, and just generally better. But I think we may be getting OT here.

  • Warty||

    What a triumph of Oliver Stone's will.

  • ||

    Comment thread over. Outstanding.

  • Van||

    I think they are all on the way to Grandma's for the forth.

  • Colin||

    No need to worry -- no one is gonna watch this film.

    No one.

  • Fact Check||

    It's typical for those on the far left to condone oppression just as long as a lefty is doing the oppressing.

    Robert Scheer, a Maoist, recently wrote an article praising an FTA signed between China and Taiwan-- an FTA that will certainly bring Taiwan further under China's influence, hence jeapordizing Taiwan's freedom and democracy. But what is a Maoist doing endorsing an FTA? Since his beloved Chicoms are involved, no worries. They'll all live happily ever after in China's socialist utopia.

    The point is that you can't see the truth from the far left (or the far right). From those ends of the political spectrum, ideology trumps all else. In that sense, although I haven't seen Stone's film, I think Antonio Rumbos is onto something, even if his criticism is a little melodramatic.

  • ||

    This author doesn't realize that oppression is only something that rich, white, right-wing people do to the disadvantaged. There's no such thing as left-wing oppression

  • A is Awesome||

    It's called fun-ppression

  • ||

    Always remember, Venezuelans owe the President flooding the country with enormous amounts of extra oil money. In fact all oil exporting nations should go down on their hands and knees and thank the President for pushing up all price almost every way he could.

    Who can guess which prez I'm talking about?

  • Van||

    Es muy facile Senior, Presidente Bush.

  • ||

    Sí, pero lamentablemente no hay ningún premio.

  • ||

    Why even argue?
    Let pure economics decide: in which direction do most citizens flow? To or from Country X?
    Eg. Many people risk their lives to escape Cuba. Nobody defects to Cuba under any circumstances, unless you count Michael Moore's stagecrafted movies.
    End of fkn story.

  • monolith||

    Agree with the article but wouldn't it be better to try and show how the policies of Chavez haven't actually helped the majority of the population that are very poor?

  • ||

    You cats ever see Chavez blubber and weep about the Virgin Mary and Catholicism during his some of his speeches? A serious case of Jesusrot goin' on in his head...

  • Van||

    Did you ever see "The Godfather?"

  • QSL||

    What is it with members of the Hollywood elite so enamored with socialist thugs? Is it because there are actual similarities in lifestyle among both groups?

    Both have an abnormal craving of "power" and influence; both are generally narcissists; both live around security-covered mansions and are are disconnected from 'commoners'; both have legions of hangers-on who are willing to wait on them hand and foot; Etc. Etc.

    The whole irony is listening to guys who are among the wealthiest 10% of the country (Moore, Stone, Penn, etc.) praise proponents of the system that is supposedly vehemently against the wealthiest 10%. But I guess it's never about actually living under a socialist regime. It's about BEING the socialist regime, with all the perks, power and attention that comes with it.

  • ||

    QSL|7.2.10 @ 10:44AM|#
    "What is it with members of the Hollywood elite so enamored with socialist thugs?..."
    My question is why anyone cares? I mean, these are people who have spent their entire careers pretending to be someone else.

  • ||

    I'm sure nearly all of Hollywood is capitalist to the bone.

  • ||

    Not capitalist, certainly not free market capitalist anyway. Fascist or crony capitalist, yes. Movies wouldn't make any money if not for taxpayer subsidies.

  • Van||

    They are getting richer too. That's a serious problem in the U.S.

  • ||

    You're wondering why Minitrue workers are enamored of Big Brother?

    Job security, maybe. Or maybe it's some kind of Stockhold effect; if you suck dick for a living long enough, maybe you start to admire the one that really makes you choke.

  • ||

    Well said, QSL.

  • Van||

    Rufus, I'm keeping my eye on you. You have caused me many belly laughs.

  • Alex||

    Anyone here remembers the fiasco of Operacion Manuel?

    How Hugo Chavez appointed himself as a negotiator between the FARC and the Colombian government for the humanitarian exchange of prisoners and hostages which included the child Emmanuel Rojas (born in FARC's captivity), how during weeks Chavez assured that the child would soon be released, and how Olive Stone jumped at the bandwagon and signed himself to capture the moment on-camera (no kidding, I live in Mexico and a leftist blogger nutjob claimed that Chavez was "flying towards the Nobel Peace Prize" because of this), then after weeks of Chavez "negotiations" the Colombian government announced that they had Emmanuel with them all along. One can imagine how it went:

    Chavez: The FARC assure me they are going to release the child Emmanuel Rojas soon.
    Colombian Gov: When?
    Chavez: Soon... you'll see how true they are to their word.
    Oliver Stone: Oh boy! I'll document it! Oscar material!
    Weeks later...
    Chavez: There has been some issues with the release, but they are sorting it out.
    CG: When will they release him then?
    Chavez: They assure me it will be in the next days.
    More weeks later:
    Chavez: It's all your fault, you US boot-lickers! The FARC are not releasing the child in time because of your military operations against them, I know that because they sent me a letter explaining it!
    CG: No, they are not releasing him because they don't have him anymore. Seriously... How well informed are you about them?

  • Van||

    That type of news is suppressed in the U.S., except for Univision, which the "Public" doesn't understand cause they are too dopey to learn a foreign language.

  • ||

    I wouldn't go somfar as to say "supressed". More like "ignored".

  • Van||

    Ignoring it and not promoting it is a covert way of suppressing it. The American people wind up knowing nothing about it. But they know everything there is to know about Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Sasha Grey, etc.

  • Alex||

    I don't understand why they would not make it news in the U.S.

    After all, it did make look Chavez as a douche...

  • barfman||

    Hugo Chávez

    *barf*

    Oliver Stone

    *baaarrrrfffffff*

  • Orel Hazard||

    "We understand immediately. These [anchors on Fox News] are stupid and ignorant. Because they are stupid and ignorant and because they (and people like them) tell Americans what to think about Chávez, our opinions about Chávez are also stupid and ignorant. This is in the interests of the corporate media establishment, which would like us to remain stupid and ignorant, especially about economic injustice [...] so that the privileged may stay privileged and the impoverished masses may remain impoverished masses."

    I am no dictator's friend. And I don't have to be one to ask:

    What exactly about the above isn't true? The IMF and World Bank and multinationals haven't shoved the Monroe Doctrine so far up the ass of the people of the Americas that they can taste parchment?

    Someone needs to give the author a copy of Polemic For Dummies. In an early chapter it covers the risks of allowing a crappy writing style to accidentally promote the viewpoint one actually disdains.

    This is an especially tough problem when the things you disdain are the things that are objectively true and obvious to all.

  • Van||

    Touche' Monsieur Orel!

    To pretend that the U.S. isn't imperialist is disingenuous. The real debate among economists is whether the free market is the most efficient means of distributing goods, services, and money to everyone participating the the economic system. It's hard to argue that anyone in Latin America lives in a Free Market, but do we really have one here in the U.S.?

    After Reagan left office, every President since has believed in an irrational investment in Government. That investment in government has included the use of military force to "Bring Democracy" to countries which have oil, but don't have democracy.

  • Alex||

    Free market in the U.S. would also imply removing barriers for imports, eliminating subsides, and scrapping protectionism in favor of free foreign competition.

    Some dumb leftist "intellectualls" call all of those as "free enterprise".

  • Alex J||

    Oliver Stone is delusional if he believes that Hugo Chavez is a "benevolent and misunderstood hero". Shooting dissenters from protesting? No comment on that. Chavez taking over radio stations? Lies from the Capitalist American Bourgeois. Oliver seems to downplay the victims of the revolution to making them look like the villains. Social Justice indeed.

    TIMBAP_AKJ

  • stossel nike||

    It was January 2009, and Democrats were triumphant. Their party had won major victories in both the House and the Senate, and Barack Obama, arguably the most economically left-wing president in decades, had just won the White House on a promise to finally achieve what had eluded liberals for so long: universal health care.

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  • Scarpe Nike||

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